America: exit stage right
The squandered opportunity of monopolarism
In my last installment on monopolarism, I made an assertion about America’s decline:
“If there ever was an opportunity for true world peace, the Americans blew it in a surge of capitalistic greed. The UN offered a possible framework for a Pax Americana. But the allure of American democracy and constitutional governance slowly diminished as the US descended into culture wars that pressured vassal states to emulate our failing values and accept our hegemony.“
The very next day, I came across an opinion piece by an African journalist writing on the CNN website, making my point in a more powerful focused way:
“The image of America declines every day in many parts of Africa -- and around the world. It's disappointing, it's scary and, to be frank, it's crushing our hopes.
Too many Americans who respect democracy believe that the country is so flawed it doesn't deserve to lead by example. They believe that for all the country's mistakes and injustices, it's time for some other country or some high ideal to replace America as the symbol of democracy around the world. It's not so simple.
Of course, Americans are right to examine their failures and demand more of their country, but they can't ignore their obligation to foreigners living under oppressive governments everywhere. It wasn't just American influence that made me demand better from the Gambian government -- it was knowing that America was there that made me believe that I could succeed.
I know that Americans today did not ask for this responsibility. But now that they have it, they must honor it. The symbol of American democracy is still the most potent global force for freedom, and without it, the world -- including my home country -- faces a dark future.”
Opinion by Fatou Jaw Manneh - Peace activist and former African journalist
Like many Americans I once believed that we were a beacon to freedom-loving peoples of the world who admired our democracy that thrived under the rule of law. The American constitution was a template for nations throwing off the yoke of colonialism. We basked in that image as long as we were competing with a socio-economic system that challenged our ideals. The collapse of the Soviet Union provided us the single opportunity to remake the world with hundreds of “mini-me” states.
Instead we chose hegemony over leadership and created economic conditions that fostered a new colonialism under the thumb of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, I remember my disappointment that we did not invest in training and helping Russia switch to a consumer economy. Instead, American Capitalists enabled the emergence of a Russian oligarchy which stole from the Russian people the fruits of their sweat equity. Putin has been trying to undo the effects of this pilferage, but the Russian bureaucracy is even more daunting than our Deep State.
Obviously we needed Russia to maintain its role as the “bad guy” in the narrative of world politics. Our control of Europe, initiated by the Marshall Plan, depended on a continuing fear of even a defanged Russia. And so was born the Big Lie as a centerpiece of American foreign and domestic policy.
Even worse than the failing faith of a disenchanted world in American values is the failing belief of Americans in their own purity of intentions and our disbelief at the rot we have found beneath the facade of our culture. The dominant force in our lives, well hidden by a disingenuous media, emerged: white supremacy, racism, veneer socialism and the transfer of wealth to the upper class.
Those of us who support splitting into Red and Blue nations see no hope of return to the unreal nostalgic America. We do see hope in a multipolar world in which the former United States is seen as irrelevant as the fascist states it once opposed. Humanity will have to be a beacon unto itself if it is to find a new way.